The educational playing field for the Pottstown School District just became a little more level, thanks to a donation received by the Foundation for Pottstown Education.  The Foundation recently received a $60,000 gift from an anonymous donor in support of purchasing Chromebooks for the Pottstown School District.  The Chromebooks would enable students in families who do not currently have access to the devices, the opportunity to work on school enrichment activities online.

After reading an article in the Pottstown Mercury written by Evan Brandt, the donor contacted the Foundation to work out the details for this gift.  Joe Rusiewicz, Executive Director of the Foundation has been in contact with District Superintendent, Stephen Rodriguez and Acting Technology Director, Gail Kennedy regarding this generous donation. 

According to the donor, “I recently read the article in the Pottstown Mercury about school districts having to pivot to on-line learning which would leave Pottstown behind.    For years, Pottstown has held the dubious title of being one of the most underfunded districts in the state and, as a result, the playing field has always been uneven for students.  At some point, Harrisburg needs to fix our very broken school funding system so that zip code does not determine the level of educational resources for children. But it struck me that if Pottstown couldn’t find computers for each household now, the students in Pottstown would not be on an uneven playing field—they wouldn’t be on the playing field at all.  It is my hope that this donation will help the district’s efforts to get a computer into every home so that Pottstown can implement distance learning through the current crisis.”

In response to receiving word of this donation, Rodriguez replied “This crisis has been tough on students, parents, and teachers, but Pottstown Students are getting a “double whammy” because we are underfunded and don’t have the same technology other districts do.  But thanks to this generous donation, in combination with other efforts, we are on our way to filling the gap.”

There are approximately 20-25% of the students who are in need of these devices.  The district is working hard to bridge that gap and be able to provide the Chromebooks to the families in need. 

Rusiewicz reported “We have received many kind contributions which are providing financial assistance to purchase food for our students during this pandemic, and we are extremely thankful.  Now, with the closure of all the schools in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year, another urgent need arises, the need for Chromebooks.  Thanks to this donor, a portion of this need is being met, but the need still exists.”  Anyone who is able to and interested in supporting this drive can send a tax deductible contribution to the Foundation 230 Beech Street Pottstown, PA 19464 or through the Foundation’s website

“Help us continue to level the educational playing field for the Pottstown School District.” Rusiewicz requested.

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